The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission is Ireland’s national human rights and equality institution. 

The Commission is an independent public body that accounts to the Oireachtas, with a mandate established under the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014 (IHREC Act 2014). The IHREC Act includes and further enhances the functions of the former Irish Human Rights Commission and the former Equality Authority. 

The purpose of the Commission is to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland and build a culture of respect for human rights, equality and intercultural understanding in the State. 

Its work is determined independently by the fifteen members of the Commission who are appointed by Ireland’s Head of State, President Michael D. Higgins. The diverse membership of the Commission broadly reflects the nature of Irish society. 

IHREC works in a variety of ways to protect and promote human rights and equality in Ireland. 

The work of the Commission ranges from working at the policy level to review the effectiveness of human rights and equality law, policy and practice in the State and within public bodies, to working with communities and civil society to monitor and report on people’s real life experiences of human rights and equality on the ground. 

IHREC’s legal powers include giving practical help, including legal assistance to help people defend their rights, and contributing to legal cases (amicus curiae) that deal with someone’s equality or human rights. 

Whether IHREC is addressing individual concerns, engaging with government or public bodies on policy and practice issues or raising awareness with public audiences on human rights and equality, its task is to build a fair and inclusive society that protects and promotes human rights and equality. 

IHREC’s vision is of an inclusive Ireland where human rights and equality are respected, protected and fulfilled for everyone, everywhere. 

Head of institution

Mrs Sinéad Gibney 



16-22 Green St, Dublin 7, D07 CR20, Ireland 

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Core functions

  • Advising government, parliament and other public bodies 
  • Reporting to international and regional human rights mechanisms 
  • Providing legal information and assistance 
  • Amicus curiae  
  • Cooperation with civil society organisations 
  • Awareness raising activities 
  • Engagement with public bodies on the Public Sector Equality and Human Rights Duty